New York alternative rock outfit The Last Internationale will stage a Feb. 10 benefit concert for Cayman’s Breast Cancer Foundation at the Harquail Theatre, seeking to help the charity fund its annual $200,000 operating budget.
Cayman’s own Scotch and Soda will support the three-member headliners, who have released four albums. Their fifth, “Soul on Fire,” is due sometime “in the next several weeks,” said guitarist Edgey Pires.
Dubbed “TLI,” the band opened for former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant during his 2014 “Ceaseless Roar” tour; for the European leg of The Who’s 2015 “The Who Hits 50” tour, and for Neil Young, Lenny Kravitz and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash.
In summer 2014, TLI appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2016, the opening segment of NBC’s spy drama “The Blacklist” featured the band’s song “Fire.”
Mr. Pires and bassist/vocalist Delila Paz, in a joint email exchange, said they were excited to appear at the foundation fundraiser.
“This benefit concert means a lot to us,” they wrote. “It’s great to see people come together and work hard for a great charity like the Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Foundation.
“Where we’re from, breast cancer rates are significantly higher than the rest of the U.S., so this issue is something that hits home for us.”
TLI arrives Feb. 7 for four days, staying with sponsors Steve and Andrea Hughes, and playing a Feb. 9 private party, followed by the Harquail benefit.
“The band was started playing benefit concerts,” Mr. Pires and Ms. Paz wrote. “We find them to be the most fulfilling because the people are united and rocking for one common cause.”
First benefit concert
Breast Cancer Foundation Chief Administrator Janette Fitzgerald said this is the first benefit concert the organization has staged, although the public is familiar with its annual dinner dance and other activities.
“This is our very first concert fundraiser,” she said, “and we are very excited. We normally have the Light Up the Night beach walk – on March 3 this year – and our big gala dinner in October – on the 6th this year – as our primary fundraisers each year.
“As this is a first,” Ms. Fitzgerald said, “I have no idea what we will raise, [but] fingers crossed it is a high amount.”
The Breast Cancer Foundation offers a range of services, including a “wellness program,” a recent training seminar for “several local physiotherapists to go off-island and train in lymphatic drainage and bandaging,” an “awareness program,” targeting Cayman companies and communities, and, Ms. Fitzgerald says, a soon-to-be-started program for students 15 years and older.
Funds help cover more than 130 patients in the wellness program – started three years ago – and training for medical professionals in lymphoedema treatments, cold capping at chemotherapy, awareness programs and running the support group. The foundation also sponsors the Cancer Society for its work with breast cancer patients.
“We also, at times, have to give out direct financial aid ourselves,” Ms. Fitzgerald said.
“Most doctors tend to refer their breast cancer patients to us at the point of diagnosis, we can be there for them from the beginning, which was always our aim,” she added.
The Last Internationale sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Hughes have long been involved with the foundation. “They had the band coming over for a concert at their house,” Ms. Fitzgerald said, “and they said it would be mad to have such an awesome band here and not have them do a concert.
“We are thrilled. This band is pretty awesome. It will be a great night and all the monies raised at the event [will] be put towards our wellness program.”
Mr. Hughes said he and his wife “have sponsored their gala dinner and helped out on events for a few years now. We are both big music fans, and keen to kick-start any greater music opportunity here that we can.”
The band told the Cayman Compass that “every TLI show is different,” but their Harquail set was “going to be extra special because it’s our first time going to the Cayman Islands. Theater shows also allow us to be more intimate and we’ll most likely showcase new songs and a surprise cover or two on acoustic and piano.”
Tickets are $55, and can be purchased from Breast Cancer Foundation, which is based at the Re/Max real estate office at Seven Mile Shops on West Bay Road. Further details are available from Ms. Fitzgerald or Ms. Forbes at 923-1135 or 936-1135, respectively.